TECH Pacific has overhauled its company structure for the first time in seven years as it reviews its market presence which has been dogged by increasingly tough competition.
Once regarded as a Titan distributor the local arm realised it needed to evolve in today’s tough IT arena. Following six months of planning, and amid rumours of staff cuts and redundancies, mass distributor Tech Pacific last week revealed a new business structure that has seen it being re-arranged into three divisions.
The divisions – consumer, commercial and enterprise – are based on working with resellers and vendors to address specific end-user market segments, according to sales and marketing director Vivienne Larsen.
Each divisional manager will report to Larsen. “You could say we have built three smaller Tech Pacific’s in the one company.”
Industry observers have likened the bold move made by long-time competitor Renaissance some time ago, which saw Renaissance Corporation being split into independent divisions; Insite Technology, Conduit International and Renaissance. The latter encompasses Brands, Itas and Apple. This move has proven successful as the company recorded a $1.3 million profit in the year to December. The profit was on lower sales of $97.6 million against $110.5 million.
However, Larsen refutes these claims, stating the restructure is not designed to allow the company to compete better with any particular rival. “We have competitors for every product we stock and cannot adjust our structures to be based on each one of them,” she says. “I do not even know what Renaissance’s model looks like.”
She adds that the restructuring, despite industry speculation, has only resulted in the axing of two jobs. The restructure, Larson says, has created a “buzz” in the company as it has created opportunities for employees to better realise their potential.
Larsen says the restructure had been planned since last September and is essential to ensure future growth for the company.
Two channel sources, who choose to remain unnamed, claim that as many as 15 Tech Pacific employees fell victim to the restructuring, but Larsen says that in addition to the two official redundancies around 10 other staff members have left the company on their own accord prior to the changes.
A former employee says sales staff have been shifted to either desk-based phone support roles or other parts of the business.
Larsen confirms sales people have been re-deployed to other areas, but “resellers have responded very positively to the changes”.
Alan Maclean, managing director of Maclean Computing, feels the new divisional structure will allow Tech Pacific to be more focused.
Heading up the three new divisions are Scott Cowen for enterprise, Gary Bigwood for commercial and Rick Jansen for consumer.
SIDEBAR- Distie rivalry
TECH Pacific’s competitors in the market have taken note of its move, as industry observers liken it to Renaissance’s model while other sources claim it is designed to compete head-on with Hewlett-Packard distributor Exeed.
A former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, says Exeed was viewed as the main competition when he was at Tech Pacific. “I think the pressure has been coming on for Tech Pacific, with Exeed coming into the market. There have been major stock shortages.”
Meanwhile, Exeed director Andrew Bain says his company “directly competes” with Tech Pacific because it carries the same HP products except for printer supplies.
“We had heard about a restructure but hadn’t given much thought to it. It sounds very similar to HP’s [structure for product sales].”
But Larsen says Tech Pacific adopted the structure it deemed would secure growth.